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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got to work this morning and noticed a strong burning plastic odor in the air. walked around sniffing the car and determined it was coming from drivers side rear wheel. Couldnt touch the wheel or lugs, just too hot, plastic smell was coming from the wheel cover touching the rim. I had replaced all brake pads and rotors a few months ago, maybe in May or just after. This set was with metallic pads, not my favorite. last month I had replaced the front pads again, substituting ceramic pads as the metallic ones were squeaking at slow speed. No issues with the ceramics. I hadnt got to swapping out the rear ones yet. Being it only affected one wheel I decided to swap a set of ceramics on and try to drive it back home. Everyone here is telling me it is the caliper, but I dont know how to tell if the caliper is frozen. I was able to compress the piston by turning the puck with a pair of needlenose pliers, no resistance there, it turned fairly easily. Note that the metallic pads hardly had any wear and look good. How can I be sure the caliper is ok? BTW, wheel turns easily off the ground, not freely, but with a slight brake drag which I think is normal. No play in the bearing that I can feel. (2014 Ram CV, no HD brakes)
 

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Are the pads moving freely in the bracket? Sometimes new pads have to have the metal contact areas ground a bit.to move freely. Otherwise it's likely the piston sticking or maybe, but not likely these days, a bad hose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OK, drove it home from work - no issues, could put my hand on the rim and lugs, barely warm. Friend suggested could be ABS issue, but I saw no dash light for that. Seems to be the metallic pads. Drove it back to work this morning, no issue at all. So temporary glitch maybe. Will be changing the last wheel (pass rear) over to ceramic pads this weekend though.
When changing the pads, pads moved freely in the bracket, I had used new slider hardware when I originally installed them, along with brake lube for that. Wheel spun pretty freely when jacked up. Quite a load of dust in there though, wire brushed it all out before changing pads. Didnt have anyone to help me pump the brakes to watch the caliper action.
 

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OK, drove it home from work - no issues, could put my hand on the rim and lugs, barely warm. Friend suggested could be ABS issue, but I saw no dash light for that. Seems to be the metallic pads. Drove it back to work this morning, no issue at all. So temporary glitch maybe. Will be changing the last wheel (pass rear) over to ceramic pads this weekend though.
When changing the pads, pads moved freely in the bracket, I had used new slider hardware when I originally installed them, along with brake lube for that. Wheel spun pretty freely when jacked up. Quite a load of dust in there though, wire brushed it all out before changing pads. Didnt have anyone to help me pump the brakes to watch the caliper action.
Piston problems can be intermittent depending on heat or whatever. Don't slam the brakes on real hard or you may find out.
Sounds like the pads are loose enough, even with the shims. They can stick with heat too.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I see, may have been that. we have alot of red light cameras so there were several hard stops on the way in yesterday, plus I was running late, so was heavy on the gas and brake, a bit more than usual.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just an update. I removed the remaining metallic pads and swapped them out with ceramic pads. Rotors were perfect and pads looked new. Been driving it hard last few days and no heat at all.
There was a large buildup of metallic pad brake dust on the caliper and especially gumming up the hardware sliders. Maybe this put some extra pressure on the pads, I dont know, but problem is gone now.
 

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Semi-metallic brake pads work great in my experience. Ceramic works great too. The pad material wouldn't make the difference. The fit of the pads and extra heat would make a difference though. Many times the backing plates for pads have to be ground down a bit to fit loose enough to work properly. Cheaper pads are probably worse for this.
Good luck, hope your problem is solved. Sticky pistons can be intermittent though, like sticking after 500 km in my experience. I thought it was a hose and replaced it, but (it's not usually a hose). Depends on heat, brake application and a combination of factors.
 
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Typically with these vans the reason we have brake issues, and more specifically rear brake issues of heating up way more then normal is typically the E-brake mechanism.

Sometimes after you press the E-brake to release, it may not release one side. This could be due to corrosion on the E-brake cable within the system which will cause it to move harder, and sometimes it won't disengage a side. The caliper itself could also have an issue with the mechanism and lock up/malfunction.

I had a similar thing happen last month and it was also the driver rear brake. I believe it was the E-brake cable that was the culprit, the member who drove it stated that they pushed the pedal in as far as they could go then release it and it also managed to release the brake on the stuck side.

But when this happens you should be able to tell the van has an abnormal pull to one side, the side which has the locked brake.
 

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Had a customer with a Journey that had 2 of those integrated parking brake calipers go bad one after the other. Replaced one and then a day or two later she was back because the other seized. They twisted in fine, but for some reason would not adjust right in use.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am keeping an eye on them after every run, so far they are fine, but will keep that in mind. I never use the e-brake, it gets used once a year when its inspected. I did check the function when the wheels were off, all was clean and working ok.
 

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I am keeping an eye on them after every run, so far they are fine, but will keep that in mind. I never use the e-brake, it gets used once a year when its inspected. I did check the function when the wheels were off, all was clean and working ok.
(y)
 
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